Raleigh, N.C. — The Raleigh City Council on Tuesday gave the OK for a new marathon in the Capital City, beginning in April 2014.
The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance will fund the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series as part of a five-year deal, with a three-year option to renegotiate, at a cost of $125,000 per year.
The music-themed race, which will be held in 34 U.S. cities next year, will feature live bands along every mile along the course, says Dana Allen, senior vice president of development of Competitor Group, which organizes the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series.
"We have cheerleading groups that cheer the runners along," she said. "We have themed water stations, so we're really trying to make running as fun as possible."
Organizers of other marathons in Raleigh, however, say they are concerned that the event will detract runners from other marathons, such as the City of Oaks Marathon.
"Anytime you have a race that could conceivable bring 10,000 to 15,000 people to the city, that's going to have a negative impact on other local races," City of Oaks Marathon director Ron Wahula said.
Scott Dupree, of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, says details of the event still need to be worked out and that the group will work with other race directors.
But, he says, the benefits of the Rock 'n' Roll Series cannot be denied.
"Rock and roll has a history and a track record of not negatively impacting other events, but actually helping other events – sort of the old theory of a rising tide that lifts all ships."
The City Council still wants its Law and Public Safety Committee to look into how the race might affect other events and to take a closer look at how Raleigh can best accommodate all the races.